Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Return of the Sensory Bin

Our sensory bin has been sitting with St. Patrick's Day stuff inside, just wasting space behind the chair.  Every now and then Kal'El wants to play with it, but he hasn't been very good about keeping the items inside it lately, so I haven't been too keen.  But with my renewed interest in doing kid crafts, I decided to fill it up with something new.

A few months back, when I'd been hoping to do monthly, or at least seasonal, bins, I purchased two packets of water beads (or water gems, or aqua gems.)

The time seemed ripe, so while Kal'El was napping, I had Zaxxon help me remove the old items and hydrate the water beads.

He's not the most obedient child these days, but he did a very good job of following directions on this project, and he refrained from splashing or spilling the water.

These things are strangely mesmerizing, and very pretty, even when still tiny

He had to wait a long time--the beads took 4-6 hours to hydrate, and by the time he might have played with them, we were off at his final t-ball practice of the summer, so he had to wait until the next day before he could play with what he had created.

It took about 30 seconds of having the bin on the table before I realized that the boys were not going to follow the "don't knock the beads out of the bin" rule.  Kal'El proved my point by sticking his hand all the way in and rapidly waving it back and forth, sending them all over the table and floor.

At that point I put the lid back on, made them pick up the scattered beads, and then moved the whole operation to the bathtub.

Since they were inside another enclosed space, they went nuts dumping the beads all over.  (I love the way they iridesce by the flash when spread out thin in the tub.)

They also stood inside the bin, and laughed at the way the beads felt on their toes.

They absolutely loved this!

Another day of play.

Unfortunately, these didn't last too long.  They're already slimy-feeling on the outside, and I will probably only pull them out once more before tossing them (after our trash service resumes, we switched companies and foolishly gave ourselves a couple-week break in service, oops.)
I can't say I'm too keen on using water beads again as a sensory bin filler.  They're a ton of fun, but I wasn't prepared for this level of breakage.  There were scraps and fragments of beads everywhere when it was time to clean up--helped along, I'm sure, by their standing in the bin.  I didn't want to just wash the stuff down the tub drain since the package said they can clog drains, so I had to scoop most of it out and toss in the trash.  Also, the round, wet, slippery, squishy nature of the beads means it's really easy to send them shooting across the room, and they're hard to pick up.  Lastly, they go a bit nuts with them, quickly forgetting rules about where they're supposed to stay, so it's not a safe bin to turn my back on for even a short time.  So while they're fun (and strangely mesmerizing, I could run my hands through them for hours) I probably won't get them very often.  But despite that, we all enjoyed this short-lived bin!

Tot School

1 comment:

Charlie Holmberg said...

Those water beads are so weird. I love them.